HHS seniors help impact younger students with AIM

Published 9:22 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Many times, peer pressure can be used in negative ways, but through mentoring, it can also be used to positively impact younger students.

Several seniors at Highland Home got a chance to learn about mentoring last week through the AIM program, which works to educate students about risky behaviors.

Following a week of training, eight seniors will go into sixth grade classroom in the spring to give lessons and talk.

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“The goal is not only to educate, but also to be role models,” said Amanda Wright, AIM project manager.

The AIM program, which is based out of Troy and covers six counties, is funded as a sub-grantee through the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Wright said the students have been learning to teach lessons about managing pressures before marriage.

“It’s about abstinence, not just from sex, but from any risky behavior,” she said.

All of the current seniors went through the AIM program when they were in sixth grade, but the student mentor part is a new addition to the program.

“It made me want to be involved,” said senior Catlyn Mann. “It’s easier for kids to relate to someone they see every day.”

Other seniors, like Cassidy Balkcom, said they remember the activities from when they went through the AIM program.

Some of those activities and skits will be part of the lessons with the sixth graders.

“These teen leaders will also participate in a community outreach program,” Wright said. “They’re coming up with it and helping plan it.”

AIM will be doing the student leaders program at Brantley later this month, and facilitators will also be teaching STD education to ninth graders at all three county schools.